Everglades Fly Fishing Charters
Everglades & 10,000 Islands Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Charters • Captain Buddy Ferber • (239) 298-3863

May/June Everglades Fish Report

Greetings from Captain Buddy,

Strong winds were the theme played out throughout the duration of this year’s late spring tarpon season.  Although we were given some reprieve from winds 15mph and above, by and large, May and June were “windy city”, just enough to keep the waters churned up and make it challenging to post up on the outside to sight cast to the tarpon we knew were there.  We’re looking forward to ‘friendlier’ conditions come this fall, for the next round of tarpon fishing.

I recently read an interesting article as relates to recent tarpon fishing conditions here in The Everglades.  Written by Jim McDuffie from the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, here is an excerpt that caught my attention: “Talk to any Florida tarpon angler and you’ll likely hear some discouraging reports on this year’s tarpon season. Some may blame the inconsistent fishing on the cold snap at the end of March, or the increased shark predation. Others say crab and shrimp populations have dropped significantly, attributing poor forage populations to low rainfall and lack of freshwater flowing south from Lake Okeechobee. The large-scale seagrass die-off in Florida Bay and the abnormal salinities are suspects as well. It is likely that the alterations of freshwater flows are having wide-ranging impacts on the ecosystem, which in turn impacts our fisheries.”

Although we’ve received better reports in the past, in my opinion, his was a candid assessment of current conditions.  That being said, I’m of the belief that fisheries often go through down cycles, to later return to more robust conditions for the following season.  With the help and monitoring of the BT&T, and other organizations like it, we’ll be seeing great tarpon, redfish, and snook fishing again in the near future.

On an up note, we managed to catch quite a few mature snook in the shallows these past few weeks.  These long silvery scaled beauties with their trademark black horizontal marking running the length of their bodies, are a sight to behold, especially when they get to be over 25 inches long.  Also, a noteworthy mention, at the end of June, we brought in several sizable redfish, the largest being 33 inches.  We always welcome the return of the clear water for better-than-average sight casting to these splendid creatures!

And we mustn’t forget the permit.  The end of June through July can be an excellent time to find them nearshore, off the islands and wrecks.  Can you target them with 100% precision?  Probably not….as July is a great month to fish them, but is also weather dependent, and therefore unpredictable.  Best to get out early, to get ahead of the afternoon rains. In my skiff, we need very flat calm water conditions to search for them.  If we happen to luck out, and the weather cooperates, the quest for permit can be one of the most satisfying fishing experiences a fly angler can have!  We watch for schools on the surface, move in as close as possible, then, with the soft whisper of our trolling motor, maneuver our position ever so slightly. Now!  It’s time for that perfect loop that you’ve practiced throwing so many times, watching it slice downward for a precision cast!  When it happens, it happens almost immediately..Wham! Fish on! They’re much easier to get a cast to than being on a flat.  They are less sporadic in this situation in their travel behavior.   Looking for a mid or late summer adventure?  I invite you to come along with me.  We’ll do our best together to catch one, then another, and another…

Signing off…..

Captain Buddy

Let’s Go Fishing!

Captain Buddy Ferber
(239) 298-3863